I've had these conversations many times, and the reality is that most people don't have the time or interest in spending more than 20 hours on a game. Think about how much free time you have when you are working full time, have family responsibilities, etc. Fifty hour epic games just aren't realistic.
I think that's just hot air people blow up to not have to face the fact that their attention spans are below that of a five year old.
I work, I'm married, yet I have the time, and find the time to play games. Obviously, games are most likely a much bigger factor in my life than they are in that of the casual gamer, but even so, I fail to see WHY a game has to be short enough that "The Average Gamer", with his attention span that's just long enough to watch Britney wiggle her way out of another dress, can finish it in a week.
A friend of mine, just as big a gamer as I am, has far less free time to spend on games than I do. He buys a game, then spends his next five or six weeks just playing that game.
It has nothing to do with lack of time, it has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that society and people in general are getting dumber than fuck, need their entertainment spoonfed to them (look up some numbers for book sales...), and get bored with ANYTHING within five minutes. In ten years time, if developers keep adhering to this kind of stereotype as "The standard for gaming", we'll have videogames that last five fucking minutes (which is about how long kids in my wife's classes can manage to listen before they start whining how they're bored etc.)
I will agree that ignoring the console market is stupid for a developer, since there is a LOT more money to be made in it.
However, there are several ways to "do it".
1) Bioware. KotOR on Xbox, redone for the PC. Still has throwbacks to the Xbox controls, but it works on the PC, and looks a BILLION times better on PC, 1600x1200, FSAA, better sound etc.
2) Ion Storm. Make the exact same game, fucked up controls, looks and runs like shit, but at least they RELEASED it on PC still. (and have been promising a patch now for over a week, watch it come out in two weeks and be nothing more than the five .ini tweaks that gamers themselves found)
3) And all the way at the bottom, we have Interplay. Just don't release anything on PC. Fuck the guys who actually made you great.
I will smile happily when the inevitable news of Interplay's (AND Vivendi's) demise appears here on Bluesnews.
The End, I'm sorry to hear that you guys got so royally shafted. I hope you and the others will be able to find a studio that appreciates your talents and the effort you put into titles soon.